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Former Rush worker admits to stealing $700,000 from hockey team

 The new owners of Rapid City's Rush hockey team believe around half a million dollars was pilfered from the team over several years. (KOTA)
The new owners of Rapid City's Rush hockey team believe around half a million dollars was pilfered from the team over several years. (KOTA) (KOTA)
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 12:52 PM CDT
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The former office manager for the Rapid City Rush, accused of stealing $907,910 from the team, has filed a plea agreement in federal court.

Jennifer Durham, 42, is charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion. According to the plea agreement, Durham agrees to pay $700,000 in restitution to the Rush and $186,000 to the IRS.

Court documents say Durham was the office manager for the team from 2008 through 2019 and say she made $87,469 in fraudulent payments to herself, calling them mileage reimbursements or sales commissions. She allegedly transferred $289,661 from the team's account to pay her credit cards. She's accused of transferring $181,464 from the team account into her personal account; crediting them as business expenses. They say Durham also diverted $333,888 of the team's cash receipts for her personal use, calling them travel expenses or bonus payments to players. But that’s not all. Durham is also charged with making $15,425 in payments from the team's account for her family phone bills.

In the factual basis statement Durham signed, she admitting to embezzling $700,000 from the team. In that statement, she concedes that she owes $186,277 to the IRS for taxes on that unreported income.

Durham faces up to 45 year in prison when she's sentenced; if she ends up entering that guilty plea.

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